Historic race brought to life by Inmarsat

07 July 2015: Inmarsat is the official satellite connectivity provider for the 107th running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, presented by Wintrust, for the first time.


The Chicago Yacht Club is the host of the annual race which was first run in 1898. Famous for its gruelling distance and challenging mix of weather conditions and sea state, over 300 boats and 2,800 crew members are set to participate this year.

Building on the success of the Volvo Ocean Race, made possible by Inmarsat’s reliable satellite connectivity, the company is an official race sponsor for the mid-summer classic 333-mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island, commencing on 10 July.

Lightweight terminal

Fans of the race will be able to follow the teams in real-time as a small group of onboard commentators will upload high-resolution pictures and video to Facebook and Twitter via Inmarsat’s mobile satellite communications network throughout the race.

Matt Knighton, Onboard Reporter for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during the 2014-15 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, and winner of the Inmarsat Onboard Reporter Award, will be racing on Chicago Yacht Club member Mark Hauf’s Transpac 52 Imedi.

“In the Volvo Ocean Race, Inmarsat enabled us to send quality media from the most remote corners of the ocean, so the public could live the race through our eyes. It never ceases to amaze me how their systems can make the world feel like a smaller place,” said Knighton.

Real-time insight

“We’re pleased to support the 107th running of this world-class yachting event,” said Ronald Spithout, President Inmarsat Maritime.

“Being able to connect the racers back to shore, with the latest race statistics and pictures will give race followers real-time insight into how the competitors are faring. At Inmarsat we are proud to support the sailing industry with world-class, proven communications including FleetBroadband and Fleet One, which is specifically designed for small leisure vessels.”

Race Chairman Matt Gallagher explained: “The tremendous success of the Volvo Ocean Race demonstrates that that the ability to follow the drama on the water in real-time is a critical part of enjoying offshore sailing competitions.

Proven innovator

“We look forward to sharing these glimpses of the race in unprecedented fashion with the family and friends of our competitors and the yacht racing community at large.

“We are excited to collaborate with a proven innovator like Inmarsat as we develop new ways of engaging the press, our sponsors, and most importantly our growing audience of enthusiastic fans on social media sites worldwide.”

Follow the race on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter (@racetomackinac).